Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: Court of additional district and sessions judge III, Jehanabad, Ranjit Kumar Singh, on November 15 awarded capital punishment to ten convicts while three were sentenced to life imprisonment and two punished with fine of Rs one lakh each in Senari massacre case in which 34 upper caste people were killed at Senari village in Arwal district, 125 km from Patna. Arwal district administration enhanced police presence at the village immediately.
Pronouncing the quantum of punishment, the court said order regarding two remaining accused would be passed later on. On October 27, 2016, the court had convicted them and acquitted 23 for lack of evidence. On March
18, 1999, upper caste male members were directed to assemble near the village temple-Thakurbari by a mob of Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) members at midnight. They killed them by slitting their throats with sharpedged weapons and dumped the bodies in the nearby fields. This was in retaliation to an earlier attack on a village of underprivileged castes.
Those sentenced to death includeDwarka Paswan, Kariban Paswan, Godai Paswan,Uma Paswan, Gopal Paswan, Budhan Yadav, Butai Yadav, Satendra Yadav, Lallan Pasi and Bachche Singh. Chintamani Devi, a village woman whose son and husband too were killed by the MCC, had filed the FIR with Karpi police station. Police had filed
chargesheet against 74 people in 2002. Some of them are still absconding while some died during the trial.
Senari was then part of Jehanabad district and following the massacre the state government carved out a new district-Arwal from Jehanabad and part of Patna districts for better law and order. Naxal and caste clashes were common in the central Bihar in the 90s when Lalu-Rabri Devi ruled the state.